Chile and Bolivia Desert Discovery

Atacama Desert and Uyuni Salt Flats

Trip Details

tree of stone in Bolivia

What’s Included? Everything you need, plus everything you want.

  • One and Only: Travel to the driest desert on earth. Visit the largest salt flat in the world. Stay in a hotel built entirely of salt. Entirely! (Don’t sweat – there’s WiFi.)
  • V for Variety: A day spent visiting Chile’s oldest and largest port city, Valparaiso, and the neighboring (and very much contrasting) resort town of Viña del Mar, adds richness to this desert-focused trip.
  • Adventure! You may not be climbing mountains, but the trip through the Altiplano is an adventure. Vast, wide-open, salty, rugged, and remote. (Hence, the guide!)

Chile and Bolivia Desert Discovery

Trip Type: Custom-Made Travel

Territory: South America

Region: Patagonia

Trip Price: $5,500

Duration: 9 days/8 nights

Trip Begins/Ends: Santiago, Chile / Santiago, Chile

National Parklands:

Select Terms & Conditions

All custom travel is tailored to the desires and interests of our traveling clients (see How Custom Travel Works tab). Trip pricing detailed is an estimate of the per person pricing for the sample itinerary detailed and includes all of the lodging, activities, and guided experiences described. Actual pricing for the trip designed expressly for you and others traveling with you will depend on the features and elements developed during the trip planning process. Travel with Off the Beaten Path requires agreement to our standard Terms & Conditions.

Energy Index

Energy Index Spectrum

No Sweat - 1-2 miles of walking or kiking per day, plus easy activities

Nice & Active – 3-6 miles of hiking or walking per day, plus physically active exploration

High Five! – 5-12 miles of hiking per day, plus possible peak bagging or other action-oriented fun

Chile and Bolivia Desert Discovery

Chile and Bolivia Desert Discovery - Energy Index

The Energy Index detailed above relates to the level of exertion associated with the sample trip detailed. This would be modified to fit the style and ability of your group as a part of the custom trip planning process

How custom-made travel works at Off the Beaten Path

We’ve been tailoring custom journeys for clients since our very inception in the mid-1980s! The process is all about connecting the interests of the travelers with the best that a given destination has to offer. To achieve this, we rely upon good ol’ fashioned conversation! Our geographically focused travel designer love to meet new people and learn about their interests for travel. Understanding your goals informs the process immensely and serves as the foundation for the development of a bespoke travel experience for you and yours.

The trip detailed on this web page is a sample of something we’ve done for other clients over the years. In order to start the process of designing your own custom travel experience, just call us at (800) 445-2995 and ask to speak with one of our Travel Advisors. After a bit of time on the phone, you will then have the opportunity to connect with one of our travel designers.

The entire planning process is very personalized and works in an iterative fashion until a final, perfect trip has been created. We then secure all of the lodging, activities, and guided experiences associated with your trip and send along abundant trip materials capturing these details – and much more about your travels!

Itinerary

Days 1-2: Santiago

Arrive into Santiago and embrace two full days to explore Chile’s capital city and destinations nearby. A guided city tour offers interpretation and insight. Or, set out on your own on foot, bicycle, or subway to discover eateries, museums, shops in the Estacion Mapocho or Mercado Central, the Plaza de Armas, or the Cerro San Cristobal, a funicular that takes you to a vantage point for an overview of the city. On your second day, a private guide drives you through the Casablanca Valley, one of the country’s famous wine regions, and beyond to the west coast, to explore the iconic city of Valparaiso and neighboring resort town of Viña del Mar. 

Days 3-4: Atacama Desert

Today, head north to the driest place on earth! The Atacama Desert is a truly wondrous region with a surprising variety of topography, geology, and biological life. Explore and have fun in the desert, hiking, mountain biking, mountaineering, sandboarding, stargazing, soaking in hot springs, and wildlife watching – flamingos, anyone?! Venture out further to visit Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley), a protected nature sanctuary, Dinosaur Valley, and the Valley of Death, the latter two offering impressive overlooks of the area. The small and intimate Altiplanico San Pedro de Atacama is a stunning accommodation, a true oasis, blending into the desert, surrounded by the quiet presence of the Andes in the shadow of Licancabur Volcano. With a combination of indigenous and Spanish-colonial architectural styles, the lodge offers exquisite accommodations, cuisine, and a plethora of active opportunities. 

Days 5-7: Bolivian Crossing – The Altiplano Experience

Today, embark on a fascinating, guided, multi-day journey (three, four, or five days – you pick!) across the Chile-Bolivia border to the sweeping, high-elevation Bolivian Plateau. En route, take in remote dwellings, salt flats, small mud volcanoes, alpine lagoons, and opportunities to see large groups of flamingos, fox, vicuñas, chinchillas, alpacas, llamas, and more. Each evening, retreat to a remote lodge – one built entirely out of salt! – and a home-cooked meal. Prepare to be amazed! 

Day 8: Return to San Pedro de Atacama

Today begins your journey home from northern Chile.. 

Day 9: Santiago

Fly from San Pedro de Atacama to Santiago for departures home. 

Start Planning My Trip

Lodging

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